Few things beat the sheer thrill of sitting in a velvet chair at Bristol Old Vic, sipping a Gin and Tonic and waiting for the theatre lights to go down. When eight actors suddenly burst onto the stage, energetically introducing themselves at the start of Lion Boy, the experience becomes only more exciting.
Charlie Ashanti, an 11-year-old boy, has an unusual talent for speaking ‘cat’. His Scientist parents have been kidnapped and what follows are his adventures along the way trying to track them down. Apart from Charlie and the baddie who torments him throughout, the other actors play a variety of parts according to the different scenes.
There was also a wild-haired and talented percussionist who plays the drum kit and a variety of other instruments to accompany the action. I really enjoyed this element of musical accompaniment, it introduced a feeling of excitement and anticipation to the performance. I was also utterly mesmerised by the actress who played the trapeze artist, among the other parts she played throughout Lion Boy.
Set in the future with all the gimmicks of technology that you would expect it to bring, Lion Boy winds and weaves its way to Africa, via a floating circus, a pride of lions, a hot air balloon and a clamour of cats.
Lion Boy was certainly entertaining and I was often on the edge of my seat. The transfer of Charlie from boy to lion was mesmerising, This was simply yet so cleverly achieved with sound effects and physical movement, that you believe he has become a terrifying lion.
Lion Boy is a performance positively bursting at the seams with energy and passion. If you have children over eight years of age, I advise you to take them to see Lion Boy. They will come home invigorated and thoroughly entertained.
Disclosure: Bristol Old Vic provided me with free tickets to see Lion Boy. However, as always, my views are my own and Lion Boy really was an exciting and powerful performance!